Last updated: August 24. 2013 9:15AM - 52 Views

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LIMA — Mary Wiechart didn’t just spend a few hours volunteering at the Allen County Health Partners Dental Clinic last summer.The Lima Central Catholic High School senior, who plans to become a dentist, put in 115 hours, treating her work as a real job.“I wanted to see if it was the right field for me,” she said. “But once I got there I fell in love with the people. I came in every day just to see the people.”Wiechart’s volunteerism is one reason she was nominated by her school to be recognized Wednesday by the Lima Noon Optimist Club. She was among 19 area high school juniors and seniors honored at a luncheon as part of “Youth Appreciation Week.”“I feel very honored,” said Wiechart, who plans to attend Marquette University next year.The annual program is designed to recognize students for their efforts in leadership, good citizenship and volunteerism. The students are known role models among their peers.“I feel good,” Elida High School senior Jason Hunlock said. “It keeps my self-esteem and confidence up. It’s nice to know you can be recognized for your accomplishments.”Hunlock, who also attends Apollo Career Center, is a wrestler and on the National Honor Society. He said he hopes to continue to wrestle in college, saying the sport pushes him to do well academically.Senior Amber Sherrick, of Lima Christian Academy, was nominated because of her leadership qualities.“It’s important for people to look up to you and to make sure you set an example for others,” she said.Sherrick, who plays volleyball and is involved in the school’s music program, will major in elementary education at Northland Baptist Bible College next year.Also honored were William Altenbach, Paige Basinger, Brittany Bowman, Luke Brinkman, John Brown, Haley Keller, Katherine Kleffner, Jessica Kluge, Amy Marshall, Matthew Martini, Zachary Miron, Krista Moser, Kaitlin Ohl, Alexa Pohl, Joy Roberson and Adam Walters.

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